ZIMBABWE national cricket team coach Heath Streak will provide some local flavour in the inaugural South African T20 Global League later this year after being named bowling coach of the Port Elizabeth franchise, Nelson Mandela Bay Stars.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The Nelson Mandela Bay Stars, which is owned by Dubai-based businessman Ajay Sethi, will feature in the eight-team tournament, which runs from November 3 to December 16 in South Africa.
Streak was named bowling coach of the franchise’s technical department, which is led by former South Africa wicket-keeper batsman Mark Boucher and Malibongwe Maketa (assistant coach).
The 43-year-old former Zimbabwe captain has served as bowling coach for the Indian Premier League franchise Gujarat Lions for the past two seasons as he continues to build his reputation as one of the most sought-after specialist coaches in the world.
He was credited for playing an important role in Bangladesh’s remarkable transformation from minnows to a formidable side since his appointment in May 2014 before his appointment as Zimbabwe coach last year.
Streak will be joined at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stars by national cricket team bowling coach Makhaya Ntini, who was born in Mdingi, near King William’s Town, Eastern Cape and will provide inspiration as an ambassador for the team.
Ntini, the first black African to play for South Africa and one of the country’s most successful bowlers of all time, said he was looking forward to forming part of the Eastern Cape team.
“We know that St George’s Park can be an exciting ground, which is good because this is shaping up to be a very exciting tournament,” Ntini told heraldlive.co.za.
“We hope the groundkeepers can work their magic and turn the pitch into one that will make our homeground ideal for this shorter, faster-paced format of cricket.”
His role as team ambassador would be more of an inspirational one and he plans to leave the coaching to Boucher and Streak.
“Obviously, we will be there to give advice when it is asked of us,” he said. “But we are more there to help the team and players behind the scenes.
“Whatever they require of me, I am just happy to be home and part of such an exciting experience.”
The other team ambassadors include the legendary duo of Graeme Pollock and Clive Lloyd while Rohan Gavaskar, the former Indian cricketer and son of the great Sunil, will come on board as the team’s media director and spokesperson.
Former South African team manager Ghoolam Rajar was named team manager of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stars.